Opening Day message: Boston trip, pizza lunch, new Sheehan funding

Dear Honors Students:

We are so pleased to welcome the Class of 2018 and to welcome back all our returning students!   We hope you had a wonderful summer and are ready for the new academic year.

Read on for news about honors traditions, old and new; new honors study abroad scholarships and research grants; and program updates.


-First Annual Boston Trip (Sat, 9/13, noon-9 p.m.): Please join us for a “Secrets of Old Boston” scavenger hunt and dinner in the North End/Quincy Market area. Please sign up using the honors online RSVP form. We can accommodate the first 35 students who respond and will maintain an active waitlist. The bus and scavenger hunt will be paid for by the Honors Program—you will just need to bring cash for dinner.

-Back to School Pizza Lunch (Thurs., 9/11, noon-1 p.m.): You are invited to join us for pizza on Thursday, 9/11 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in the Blue Lounge (Student Center).  Please sign up using the online RSVP form by Monday, 9/8 so we can order enough pizza AND so you can earn honors event credit.  Drop-ins are welcome as well. Don’t miss the free lunch, honors credit, and good company!


Lt. Col. James Sheehan has made a generous donation to the Honors Program, which will be used for study abroad scholarships and research/travel grants. Watch your email for information about the application process.


-Honors Team: Dr. Karen Woods Weierman (English) and Dr. Jennifer Hood-DeGrenier (Biology) will remain the Director and Assistant Director.  Mary Flibbert will continue in her position as Honors Program Assistant. Megan Luppi will be returning as our graduate assistant for the fall semester, and OT student Beth Powis (Honors Class of 2014) is our newest graduate assistant.

-Academic requirements: This is a good time to review your schedule/DegreeAudit and make sure that you are on track for your honors requirements (7 honors courses with a grade of B or better; 6 courses for transfer students).  Dr. Hood-DeGrenier and Dr. Weierman can answer any honors advising questions.  Please contact us during the add/drop period if you need assistance with honors courses.

-Co-curricular requirements: Remember that honors students need to attend two events per semester.  These events may be sponsored by our program or by other campus organizations.  Please consult the honors calendar on the blog and web site (or even embed the honors calendar in your own google calendar) and respond using our online RSVP form.  Please let me know if there are any events on campus we’ve missed; we are always glad to add events to the calendar.  The RSVP records are maintained by the graduate assistants; please address any questions to Megan Luppi (

-Honors Office (LRC 218): Honors office hours can be found here and are posted on the web site and blog.

-Honors Lounge (LRC 216): All honors students have swipe card access to the lounge, which is available to you for studying and socializing just about any time the library is open. The lounge is closed on Thursdays from 11-12 for team meetings, as well as for monthly student committee and advisory board meetings.

We are looking forward to working with you this year!



Dr. Weierman and Dr. Hood-DeGrenier


P.S.  Keep in touch….

…subscribe to the Honors blog.

…like us on Facebook.

…embed the Honors calendar in your own Google calendar.


Save the date for pizza lunch, Boston trip, and People’s Climate March

Please save the dates for these upcoming events!    Details and sign up information to follow next week.

Thursday, 9/11, noon-1 p.m.: Welcome Back Pizza Lunch (Blue Lounge)

Saturday, 9/13, noon-9 p.m.: First Annual Boston Trip!!

Sunday, 9/21: People’s Climate March in NYC

Happy Labor Day weekend from the Honors Team!

Volunteer for the Worcester State Foundation Golf Tournament

The 21st Annual Worcester State Foundation Golf Tournament is just around the corner on Monday, June 23. In past years, Honors Program students have volunteered at this important fundraising event, and the organizers are again looking for volunteers this year.
The tournament will be held on the sister courses of Kettle Brook Golf Course and Wachusett Country Club. With nearly 125 golfers at each course, this provides a wonderful opportunity for students to meet alumni and corporate sponsors while paying it forward to fellow students by volunteering their time.
The form to volunteer can be found at Note that shifts and various volunteer opportunities are available. If a student finds that the times listed don’t work, we are happy to work with their availability.


Honors Study Break: Cinco de Mayo

The Honors Program invites you to an afternoon study break!   There will be a nacho bar and margarita mocktails in honor of Cinco de Mayo.

Monday, 5/5, 1-2 p.m.
7 Hills Lounge, Wasylean Hall
Please remember to submit an RSVP form.

Poetry Craft talk tomorrow (4/29)

The English Department at WSU and the Humanities & Arts Department at WPI are excited to host Forrest Gander, a Pulitzer finalist in poetry (2012), and Christina Davis, an award-winning poet and the curator of the Woodberry Poetry Room, on Tuesday, April 29. Gander and Davis will offer a free Craft Talk about poetry writing, translation, travel writing, genre hybridization, and the writing life at WSU from 3-4:15 p.m. in the Eager Auditorium in the Sullivan Building.  All are invited to this event and to the poets’ reading at 7 p.m. tomorrow night in Salisbury Labs at WPI (rm. 115 in Kinnicutt Hall).

As part of their visit, Gander and Davis will share the stage here at WSU with Commonwealth Honors student Sarah Leidhold, the first place prize winner of the annual Barbara Pilon Poetry Contest, who will also read from her work.

Be sure to RSVP for honors credit!

The month in review…

April highlights for the Honors Program included…

  • Overnight NYC trip
  • Congratulations Day for the Class of 2018
  • Conference Practice Dinner
  • Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity
  • Undergraduate Research Conference at UMass-Amherst
  • President’s Dinner and Twelfth Night.  Bravo to honors students Peter Starr and Nathen Wheeler for amazing performances and kudos to the honors students who worked on the set.
  • On Guard 5K, organized by our own Julie Broderick as part of her Commonwealth Honors Project.

Thanks to all the students and faculty who made these events possible!

On Guard 5K: A Commonwealth Honors Project

Many thanks to Honors senior Julie Broderick for organizing this very successful event!


Thanks also to all the honors students who came out!


And congratulations to top finisher Cal White!


Fall Honors Courses–updates

Still looking for an honors course?

Please note that the all-honors PH 263-H1: Film and Philosophy (GP, TLC) still has seats available.

Dr. Weierman’s special topics course, EN 450-H2: Transatlantic Antislavery Literature, has just been approved for the following LASC categories: WAC, DAC, TLC,  USW.

TODAY: Spring into Divestment!

Looking for an honors event?   Inspired by Sandra Steingraber and wondering about your next step?
Spring into Divestment!   Come listen to a local student activist talk about all things climate, activism, and divestment.  After the guest speaker, join students in tye-dyeing a free T-shirt!   T-shirts are first come, first serve.
Tuesday, April 22nd from 1-3PM
on the lawn outside the Student Center

Sponsors: GTU, EAG, Divestment Team

Commonwealth Honors Project Prize Competition–results!

The Honors Program is pleased to announce the winners of the first annual Commonwealth Honors Project Prize Competition, which was judged at yesterday’s Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity:

First Prize ($250)
George Andrews: “Timberrr!: A Study of Timber Harvesting in Massachusetts”
Faculty advisor: Dr. Allison Dunn
Second Prize ($100)
Colleen MacWilliam: “Descriptions of Concrete Objects by People with Aphasia
Faculty advisor: Dr. Sharon Antonucci
Third Prize ($50)
Sarah Leidhold, “Superfluous Sincerity” (poetry collection)
Faculty advisor: Dr. Heather Treseler
Honorable Mention
Julie Broderick, “The On Guard Initiative”
Faculty advisor: Dr. Joan Mahoney
Congratulations to the winners and to all the Commonwealth Honors Scholars for their remarkable projects!   And many thanks to the judges and faculty advisors for their essential contributions.

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